Sunday, February 27, 2011
With the next meeting coming up in about a day, on the third anniversary of the horrific events of March 1, 2008, the opposition movement has been trying to distribute flyers to inform people about the march. And, as usual, the police are out there harassing the youth distributing flyers, trying to shut them up and scare them off. Ten or so youth were taken to the police station the other day while distributing flyers. And on February 26, again, the police tried to stop the distribution of flyers. Much of this one on the 26th one was caught on video- it is 24:19 minutes long, and captures from 15:32 – 17:08 (3:32-5:08 pm).
The main theme here is that both in a residential area where youth are distributing flyers and where the video starts, and in a city centre road where the youth are pulled over while driving with flyers stuck to the outside of the vehicle, the police can’t give a reason for stopping the youth; they can’t city a law or ordinance or anything that is being violated by the youth, to justify trying to stop them. When one of the police is asked straight on in the residential area, all he can come up with is that what he heard one of the youth yell just moments before, “Serjik Murderer,” is not right to say. “You can’t say that, it’s not right,” is what he repeats over and over. Over course, that doesn’t answer the question, nor is it actually illegal.
And when the youth are pulled over, neither the youth, nor Levon Zurabyan (HAK coordinator) who shows up around 16:16, can get an answer from the police as to what illegal act they’ve supposedly committed. What does happen is that the number of police, police in army fatigues, police cars and vans, and eventually red berets (16:51), grows almost exponentially; the youth start continue their chanting while stuck in the street, including “Serjik Mubarak,” and even starts passing out flyers to passing vehicles. Not surprisingly, and coincidence or not, there’s not too much pushing and shoving until about the time when Bazaz shows up (first glimpse of him at 16:49). You can see him pacing back and forth throughout most of the rest of the video. Not a minute after he arrives he’s already yelling for people to be taken to the station “Bajin Tarek!” And not soon after, the youth start shouting what may be my favorite slogan so far, “Serjik! Bazaz! Osipov!” (16:50).
The group was probably followed in some form or another from the residential area (leave at 15:39, and you can see cop car #0155) until they were pulled over at 16:02; the same plainclothes policeman from the residential area can be seen in the second scene milling about and taking pictures, as can the original police car #0155 (see it clearly at 16:13).
What a show of police presence and force, at least 8-10 or more police cars and vans, red berets, creating traffic, and everything else, for 20 or so activists. Intimidation really seems to be their “prevention.” I suppose it works well when you’ve already shown how far you’re willing to go to keep your power, case in point March 1, 2008, and everything since.
I wonder, in the end, if the police came up with some excuse for their behavior, for illegally harassing and obstructing the youth. Maybe that's what took so long, they couldn't come up with a fake reason. Come to think of it, they've done this so many times,they probably don't even need to bother anymore.
[Addendum: here is the link to the video, looks like I'd forgotten it:
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Its absolutely incredible. Pashinyan uses simple language, simple allegory, satire and comedy, and simple logic, to show just how ludicrous the court system, and the entire regime, is.
I've posted it below, with some very rough transcription and translation of some segments... what I've put there are just a few of the jewels, there are a lot more, but no amount of translation does it justice.
Pashinyan starts out by giving an incredible example of the completely absurdity of the regime and justice system that stands in Armenia today, by giving an overly complicated and completely irrelevant example answer, that would be given by the regime, to the question, is this piece of paper black or white? Then he goes on…
I will do the same experiment with this piece of paper [as an analogy to his jail sentence and amnesty]
The Amnesty says, halve the portion of this paper that has nothing [written] on it
The court says, there is no portion of the paper without anything written on it, and for that reason we cannot halve it.
But in reality, this paper, in its entirety, has nothing on it. That is, the portion of the paper that has nothing on it, is the entire paper. And to halve the portion that has nothing on it is to fold it (folding it), we fold it in equal halves, and honorable court, halve it in equal portions (tearing it in half).
This primitive [concept], my numerous lawyers have been unable to make the ‘Justice System’ of Armenia comprehend this.
It’s not that they cannot make them understand. Our Armenia’s ‘Justice System’ does not understand, cannot understand and wants to act as though it is, excuse the expression, obtuse.
… there is no independent justice system in the Republic of Armenia. If there were, the Republic of Armenia would not be in the situation it is today…
… if there were a lawful government in the Republic of Armenia, honorable court, if there were a lawful government in the Republic of Armenia, if there were a lawful prosecutor’s office, if there were a lawful court [system], if laws functioned in the Republic of Armenia, this court hearing would not be happening; because I would not be at Artik penitentiary, and I wouldn’t have a problem transferring a piece of paper to my lawyer, and the Criminal and Justice Ministry of the Republic of Armenia would not be so depraved as to lie so obviously in front of the Armenian people…
.. my experience had shown me that the judges in this country have a hearing problem…
… the government of this country does not have enough morality to stand face to face and talk ... the government talks to me through its oligarchs, through its courts…
Friday, February 18, 2011
A rough translated transcript is as follows:
“The police said something… its shameful, too... The police came up to the car and said 'put your flag away,… don’t put it here… put away your flag”
And we said “but which is your flag, then?”
“It was an [Armenian] tricolor [flag] on the car.”
HAK youth across the city were being harrassed and attacked, and two were arrested and taken in to the police station. They were released a few hours later, but it is still unclear why they were taken in in the first place.
The rally is in just a little bit on the 18th. Let's see if the police behave themselves.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Written Statement in Armenian on 1in.am
Epress article: Pashinyan Chronicles: Imprisoned Journalist Spent 2.5 Hours Waiting in Prison Reception (Updated)
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Wow. You must be kidding, I thought, even the tenth and twentieth times I read the article, which cites Ardsvik Minasyan of the ARF.
So, what brought about this sudden dedication to democracy to the ARF, the party that was a member of the coalition, and is closely linked to Kocharyan… the party that has yet to strongly condemn the massive human rights violations of this regime, including the events of March 1, and the political prisoners who are still behind bars to this day… the party that has yet to truly speak out against the oppression of free media in Armenia… the party that seems to have no problems holding a rally just about wherever and whenever it wants to [I think I may have even seen Bazaz tying the shoelaces of one of the ARF supporters - no, that’s not true, but it sure feels that way when real opposition youth are beaten and arrested, but no limitations are placed on ARF public gatherings]…
Did these realities suddenly occur to them because a) the presidential elections are coming up, b) they are pissed off at Sergik, c) Sergik is pissed off at them, d) they are still Kocharyan’s lackeys e) they want to sett up a distance between themselves and Sergik, f) they want to seem like legitimate, democracy seeking opposition… the list goes on, and obviously, these are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they all play well into each other, don’t they?
What doesn’t work, dear, dear ARF, is this poorly veiled attempt to suddenly have a truly sincere, unbiased interest and motivation for a fair and just electoral system.
[My apologies - I don't remember which online source the spectacular photo is from, maybe RFE/RL, or a1plus or lragir? - if anyone remembers, please let me know]